Iran Ready for Dialogue to Correct France's Mistake

French authorities have recently made incorrect statements about Iran, indicating they are ill-informed about the region’s realities and have been influenced by anti-Iran propaganda
Bahram QasemiBahram Qasemi

Foreign Ministry's spokesman said Tehran is ready for frank talks with Paris to clear up misunderstandings over Iran's regional role, saying French leaders would do well to avoid the "strategic" mistake of making Iranophobic statements to "appease" certain countries.

"We have shared views on many issues, but there are disagreements that we need to discuss," IRNA also quoted Bahram Qasemi as saying in a regular press conference in Tehran on Monday.

Tensions between Iran and France have escalated in recent months, as French President Emmanuel Macron has sought to align himself with his US counterpart, Donald Trump, on Iran over non-nuclear issues.

Echoing the controversial US president's antagonis toward Iran, French officials have called for new curbs on Tehran's regional clout and missile program, which issues are not related to the nuclear deal.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said last week Paris and Washington are determined to "vigorously" raise pressure on Iran over its ballistic missile program, including possibly through sanctions.

Last month, he accused Iran of "hegemonic temptations" in the region and said Tehran must withdraw from conflicts in Syria and elsewhere.

Earlier this month, Iran criticized France over its stance toward Tehran and warned that Paris would soon lose its international credibility if it "blindly follows" Trump.

"To sustain its international credibility, France should not blindly follow the Americans … The French president is now acting as Trump's lackey," Ali Akbar Velayati, a foreign policy advisor to the Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, said on Dec. 17.

  Positive Role

Qasemi said French authorities have made "incorrect statements" in recent weeks, indicating they are "ill-informed" about realities in the region and have been influenced by anti-Iran propaganda.

"Through constructive dialogue, I believe we will be able to make them aware of the realities and [plots] by those who try to drive a wedge between Iran and Europe," he said. The spokesman said Iranian diplomats will use Le Drian's trip to Tehran, which is due early January, to help him gain a better understanding of Iran's role in the region.

"We will remind them of how Iran has contributed to the anti-terror fight and that what situation they could face [in Europe] if Iran had played no role," he said.

Macron is expected to pay a visit to Iran early next year, which would be the first by a French head of government since 1971. Qasemi said no date has been fixed for Macron's visit yet.

"Europeans must be careful not to fall into the traps of the US and some of its reckless allies who have adopted misguided policies," he said.

Trump is a fierce opponent of the deal Iran signed in 2015 with world powers to curb its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of most international sanctions.

But his stance is at odds with that of the other signatories to the pact, including US allies in Europe.

Macron, unlike Trump, has reaffirmed his country's commitment to the two-year pact that solved a 12-year-long dispute between western powers and Iran.

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